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A Million Tiny Epiphanies

  • Jun 19, 2010

"My urges are gone. My heart is beating slow and steady. Everything I know and I am and I have seen felt done past present past now then before now seen felt done hurt felt focus into a something beyond words beyond beyond beyond and it speaks now and it says.
Take it.

--A Million Little Pieces


Frey's words resonate with every one of my demons.

In this ostensibly autobiographical work, Frey finds himself 23 and at the bottom of an addiction that he dove into headfirst. His prose is stark and erratic; I felt like I was running to keep pace with his words and thoughts.

We follow Frey from blackouts to 12 step programs to a broken girl he romances and celebrate the connections along the way. He shares everything with an unapologetic committment to recovery through honesty.

There was controversy surrounding this book when multiple fact-checking sources conflicted with Frey's depiction of certain events. Frey attempted to release the work as fiction, but publishers felt a memoir would be more well-recieved. It is unfortunate that this controversy shifts the focus from a rough hewn journey into hell and back.

For me, it was enough to take this book for everything Frey poured onto the pages, and for the hope it holds for broken people.


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March 04, 2012
Sounds like an interesting book !
April 12, 2011
I haven't had a chance to check this out yet, but it's definitely on my list. I had heard the controversies surrounding it as well, what a shame. I didn't know he wanted to release it as fiction. Thanks for sharing :)
November 27, 2010
Actually it wasn't that publishers thought it would be better served as a memoir... it was that no publisher would take it until Frey told them it was a memoir. When it was just fiction Frey was continually rejected and no publisher wanted it. It was only when he started telling publishers that it was a memoir that any of them were even remotely interested. So not even the publishers knew it was a fabrication. James Frey was looking to sell it and he did. That was his ultimate goal. Of course, one can just read it as a book of fiction. Either way, it's still a fairly well written book. In spite of lying, it's easy to see that James Frey has talent and he actually released another book that was actually fiction. I haven't read that one, though... So I actually wasn't disturbed by the controversy. It just means it's fiction instead of non-fiction to me.
June 26, 2010
thanks for the review. I've been wanting to check this book out for a while, and I might just do that.
June 26, 2010
I agree... I love this book! I did not know about this being untrue either... I am a little disappointed now... but i still love the book! Great Review
June 20, 2010
Sadly Frey faked the whole thing. He was something of a substance abuser, and obviously knew something about addiction, but he never spent more than a night or two in jail and never went through a treatment program (which probably explains his disdain for 12-step programs). Oprah was pretty embarrassed to learn the truth after she promoted his book. It really is shame he was encouraged to be dishonest and present his fictional story as a autobiographical.
June 20, 2010
Sounds fascinating. BTW, welcome to Lunch. Not sure I would purchase this book but I might be tempted to read it if I see it at the library.
More A Million Little Pieces reviews
review by . June 26, 2010
           This book made me think alot about how drug addicts are percieved as these people who are lost and just out of their minds. People look down on them because they are addicted. This book gave an indepth look at how someone's mind works when they are on drugs. It has become very clear that drugs make you think and do very strange things.        I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested …
review by . July 13, 2010
I was warned about this book.  I heard about Frey and Oprah.  I heard about the big controversy, the scandal, the coming-clean of Frey.  I picked it up anyway because it looked interesting.        Frey is a great writer.  Check out his Bright Shiny Morning as well.  His tone and style are remarkable.  Crystal clear, non-traditional, always engaging.  It is very difficult to put down a Frey book.  I know the term "page turner" …
Quick Tip by . June 26, 2010
The controversy around this book has unfortunately taken away many of the poignant realities in the authors words. I cringed and could barely read the dentist portions. I do think there are raw emotions that everyone with addiction issues has to confront apparent throughout the book.
Quick Tip by . June 26, 2010
love this book. what an inside view to what goes on inside your mind when you are on drugs. I can't imagine how that must feel... well now I can because i read this book . :)
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
Such a cool book. Ya'll should read it
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2010
Great, albeit fabricated, tale.
Quick Tip by . June 22, 2010
Not terrible, but not worth the hype it got on Oprah.
review by . June 22, 2010
I think I read this book when I was in seventh grade. I think, at the time, I remember liking it. It was harrowing, filled with those intangible dangers that fascinate seventh graders whose biggest challenge is sneaking in late after curfew. However, once I got a little older and switched from reading fiction to nonfiction, I was incredibly disappointed by this book. While I understand that truth is relative, and is more often than not bent by the writer, this book is almost entirely fictional. …
Quick Tip by . June 10, 2010
Shattering! I could not put this down or get this out of my head!
review by . September 06, 2009
I recommend this book to anyone. I am definitely glad that I read it. However, before reading it I suggest you step out of the mindset that it is fiction or non-fiction. I really don't care and I am not angry at the author or the publishing company. Read this book without any preconcieved notions. Have an open mind and take it for what it is - whether that is fiction, non-fiction, or fantasy to you.       As the title of my review suggests, it is gritty and dark, sometimes disturbing. …
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Mel ()
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Member Since: Jun 19, 2010
Last Login: Jun 19, 2010 10:10 PM UTC
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About this book


A Million Little Pieces is a controversial memoir by James Frey. It tells the story of a 23-year-old alcoholic and drug abuser and how he copes with rehabilitation in a Twelve Steps-oriented treatment center. 

The book was released widely on April 15, 2003 by Doubleday Books, a division of Random House, and received mixed feedback. While some critics, such as Pat Conroy praised the book, calling it "the War and Peace of addiction," others were not as impressed by the gruesome nature of the book and Frey's overall attitude that sets the tone for the book. For example, critic Julian Keeling, a recovering addict, stated that "Frey's stylistic tactics are irritating...none of this makes the reader feel well-disposed towards him". Also, author Heather King said that "A Million Little Pieces rings false".

In September of 2005, the book was picked as an Oprah's Book Club selection, and shortly thereafter became the number one paperback non-fiction book on Amazon.com, and topped the New York Times Best Seller list for fifteen straight weeks. By January 28, 2006, it had fallen to number four on the Amazon.com list with Winfrey's following selection, Night by Elie Wiesel, taking over the top position.

Beyond its status as a bestseller, the book garnered international attention in January 2006 after it was reported that it contained fabrications and was not, as originally represented by the author and publisher, a completely factual ...

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ISBN-10: 0307276902 (pbk.)
ISBN-13: 9780307276902 (pbk.)
Author: James Frey
Genre: General, Careers & Business Life, Memoirs, Guides, Substance Abuse
Publisher: Anchor
Date Published: September 22, 2005
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